Have you ever wondered how PSE gets the lights back on after an outage? In a large storm, hundreds of our employees and partners work tirelessly to get the lights back on – there is no higher priority for us than safely restoring power. We also bring in additional crews from Canada, Oregon and Montana when needed to help bolster our response.
The process of restoring power
During a large storm we open our local storm bases and emergency operations center, working around the clock to restore power and provide customers with information. We coordinate closely with emergency medical and fire services, government agencies, schools, businesses and the media.
We first work to begin repairs as close to the source of generation as we can. Until we’ve found and repaired any damage to our large transmission lines, we won’t know the extent of the damage further down the line. This method also ensures the most customers have their power restored as quickly as possible.
We prioritize restoring power to essential services, such as hospitals, water systems, energy and transportation. Once the transmission system, substations and essential services are back online, we work our way down the transmission lines to the smaller distribution circuits that feed communities and neighborhoods.
If you're away from home when the power goes out, you can check our outage map for status updates and estimated restoration times. Downloading the myPSE app will also allow you to report and track outages from anywhere on your mobile device - you can download it here.
Storms and fallen branches are part of life in the Pacific Northwest. Each and every year, we invest in reliability and system improvements to reduce the number and duration of outages customers experience on the Island. For more information on the Island’s electric system and our reliability improvement efforts, check our electric system page and frequently asked questions about reliability.